As you guys are probably aware from my myriad of posts on Prizm Basketball and Football, I am about as much of a hater as there can be. Not only do I hate the name, which is obviously created just to eventually trademark as their version of “Chrome”, but I hate the design as well. Yesterday, Prizm baseball went live as a logoless MLBPA product, completed with the exact same look as the other two sets that have already been released under the name. I am not enjoying the way this is translating to its third sport.
2012 Prizm Baseball Joe Girardi Auto – hooray for Manager Autos.
2012 Prizm Baseball Yu Darvish Rookie Relevance – Top echelon for Panini’s rookies? Being relevant.
People have put an undue amount of gravitas on Prizm’s impact on the hobby, in my opinion, solely because of its performance in Basketball. In all reality, the landscape of the basketball market is more of a driving force behind its success than anything, as the exclusive license has done them a huge favor in eliminating competition. As a result, something this occurs.
In baseball, Chrome is about as king as you can get, with the Bowman brands ruling over the hobby with a grip unlike any other sport. Considering that Prizm is pretty boring to begin with, I have no idea why people are getting excited over this. Not only does it feature mostly sticker autographs on a HIDEOUS autograph design that slices the players at the waist, but it also presents the players in poorly airbrushed jerseys. One of the reasons basketball was so successful, is that there had not been a Chrome style product with actual jerseys for years. This is the complete opposite.
My biggest complaint in football was the autographs, and how they were designed to work on the stock Panini used. The separated design with ENORMOUS white boxes behind the stickers ruined the cards, which I believed to be exceptionally boring to begin with. Sure doesn’t hurt that Panini continues to believe that a rookie logo AND 200 point text saying “ROOKIE” is necessary just to make sure you know you have a rookie card in your hands. To add in a big white box, and all of a sudden, more than 50% of the card’s surface area is obscured by needless elements in the design. At least with the Veteran autos for football, the auto box was slightly transparent, so the players weren’t completely amputated. This is not the case in baseball.
In both Football and Baseball, Chrome has established itself even further with on card autos, and yet, we don’t see the same focus from Panini, even though there is very little reason to expect they understand that need. I personally wouldn’t touch boxes of this crap with someone else’s ten foot pole, but I know that the allure of the Gold Refractors will draw people in. This is just another after effect of Basketball’s success, with many collectors going into the buy with a pre-conceived understanding of the Gold’s worth. I credit Panini for this tactic, but laugh in the face of anyone who doesn’t see what’s going on.
Chrome has always been one of, if not my top, favorite product of any release year. The technology is just too awesome to ignore. Add in on card autographs, and low numbered parallels with top notch design work, and you have the perennial winner that Topps has made a staple. This is a cheap knock off, with sticker autos, few parallels, and poor design work. I only wish people would see the evident boredom and amateur work that has made Prizm what it is. I mean, when you cant even carve out your own identity from the creativity woodwork, there is a major problem. Let’s just call this Diet Chrome with a little bit of Strasburg Splenda.